Wednesday, June 29, 2016

ICAD 2016 Week 4

ICAD #22 Neon sign

ICAD #23 winter

ICAD #24 magenta

ICAD #25 song

ICAD #26 space invaders

ICAD #27 motel
Quite possibly the worst landscape ever done in the history or art. In the world.
ICAD #28 Cats or dogs 

Monday, June 27, 2016

A few quick things

Although it means having to entertain my own two kids for two weeks straight, I am ready for school holidays.

I could have easily stayed in bed this morning. 

After Masterchef last night I went and layed down with Summer, my cuddly girl. She always stays awake a little later than Izzy does, but also likes to sleep in. With no intention of falling asleep myself, I did, and woke at half past one in the morning. 

Having not written anything for this mornings post, here I am doing with a cup of tea at half past seven in the morning. When I should be packing a lunch box and making my breaky. Thank goodness the darlings are still asleep.

Brett and I squeezed in a night to ourselves over the weekend. We watched Independence Day Resurgance, had dinner, and were home by 8:30pm! 

There was totally a time, not that the movie was bad, that I could have closed my eyes and had a nice little sleep. I almost did, and thought I'd better not.

We tried leaving home about 2pm, but a comedy of errors, on Brett's part, nothing to do with me, we were pushed for time. We had plenty of time because of the twenty minutes of ads and crap at the start of the movie, we were never going to be late. But Brett was stressing out. 

With me quoting him in front of the kids and Izzy egging Summer on to repeat it, I caught some comedy gold on video, which had us cracking up at dinner. 

That is just typical, watching videos of kids at dinner on our own. We have to have something to talk about.

Fingers crossed I'll be able to have some time away to myself this weekend. Just have to work around and election and having to help Brett pick up an outdoor setting, I may just get one night. One blissful night.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Bringing the Color Alive

Brought to you by Nuffnang and Crayola

Color Alive takes the simple task of colouring to a whole new level. Kids love the new and exciting engagement it brings, through interactive play, with some of their favourite characters. 

My girls had a ball with the colouring and the app. They adored seeing their coloured characters jump of the page, and wanted to do it again and again. 

Using a tablet or smartphone, and the FREE Color Alive app, we scanned the coloured picture and watched as it magically came to life in 4D, with the colours they had used.

Each colouring book comes with 6 Crayola crayons and 1 special effects crayon. Also 16 pages of colouring fun, to bring to life. 

The special effects crayon, when scanned using the app, create animated effects on screen. Marvel Avengers has comic symbol effects, fire for Mythical Creatures, ice sparkles for Disney Frozen and pixie dust for Enchanted Fairies.

Any colouring mediums can be used, but the special effects will only appear with use of the Special Effects crayons.

We found the darker the colouring, the better the colours showed up in the app.

Color Alive lifts the characters off the page, kids can interact with their creations including taking selfies with them. Characters can be saved using the app for later play, without the colouring book.

Please excuse the cracked screen. This tablet has seen better days, only lasting a day out of the box! I cover it with a new film of clear contact every now and then, and it still works brilliantly.

Quite often a colouring book is only used for colouring and then forgotten about until next time. Color Alive brings so much more value as every page is scannable with the app, coloured or not, for days and days of extra play and creativity.

I think this is a brilliant product, I had as much fun as the kids. Maybe a little more. With a RRP of $7.99 at most major retailers, it is well worth the money. If not for some sanity in the school holidays, but also would make a fabulous birthday gift or Christmas stocking filler, and Lord knows that will be on top of us before we know it.

I have found a free trial page from the Mythical Creatures book,you can colour and scan with the FREE Color Alive app. You can see how it works for yourself.

Put the kettle on luv.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Playing catch up #fmy52weeksofmemories

So, I am totally playing catch up on Toni's 52 weeks of memories. 

I am a sucker or over loading my cup, and with the three challenges I am undergoing at the moment, I think I've overestimate my abilities. I have found it's easy to commit, but harder to push the limits of what I am capable of. I need to be more focused. I think though however, I am good at fudging the task.

I bring you the last three #fmy52weeksofmemories prompts -


Two girls and their dog.....

These two shit burgers, can bring me the most cutest, gorgeous sisterly moments, or they can deliver the most trying of parenting shit fights imaginable. I love them all the same. With the help of wine......

My favourite of favouritest lunch time meals. Some African spices, veggies  and beans , with yogurt and fresh herbs. Yumbo!! Hearty, warming and healthy. 

UP and away. When we visited Pelican Point over the weekend, there were so many birds. When we rounded the point, I was in instant awesomeness mode as I saw several pelicans roosting on the point, which reefs were covered in the high tide. There were so many species of birds, I cant wait to get a better lens to capture them closer up.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

ICAD 2016 - week 3

ICAD #15 Bouquet
I cut out flowers from some fabric I had lurking in my junk box. It's a hat box I keep bits and pieces in. The fabric was a cot quilt panel I never got round to using. I sewed buttons on from my jar of buttons, which also lives in the hat box. Every time I get that spare button from garments I've bought, it goes in there.

ICAD #16 Wallpaper
Hubby has a rag bag in the shed, he bought from Lifeline. I had a rifle through and found this flannelette piece of fabric. It kind of reminded me of wallpaper. I decorated a wooden tile to make it look like the corner of a painting on the wall.

ICAD #17 Landscape
I did this the day after it was supposed to be done, with colour pencils. It's a view from my sister in law's house, or my dodgy interpretation!

ICAD #18 Orange
Not quite an orange, but the right colour, and a close cousin. I did this one straight after the landscape prompt. Coloured pencils.

ICAD #19 Snowflake
Another scrap of fabric out of my junk box. It would be wonderful to have a pair of scissors in my house that actually cuts fabric well. I did this from memories of making snowflakes at school by cutting paper. 

ICAD #20 1960s

Water colour, crayon, sharpies and pencil. Groovy baby.

ICAD #21
This was an invent your own theme. I was inspired by my bowl of soup for lunch. All I had in my stash was shades of blue in my cross stitch thread stash, Yes, I have all sorts in my junk box!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Red lentil and coconut dhal

I like to spoil myself for lunch and cook yummy stuff just for me. Some days I need to be kind to myself, to treat myself well. Be comforted with something warming and healthy. It's also a perfect accompaniment to these bitey winter days.  

The bonus is it tastes satisfyingly good. The kids wouldn't touch this with a barge pole though. No one in this house appreciates my cooking finesse! That's OK, more for me, they can eat boring nuggets or sausages (which they would have no complaints about)!

I appreciate the days Summer and Izzy are at school and kindy. I need those days to catch up. To calm the overwhelm. I am in a state of tenseness (mainly in my shoulders) most of the time. 

In the last six years I haven't had a break away on my own. A break from being a mum, a wife and housekeeper. It's taking a toll on me. I need a weekend away by myself. No kids, no husband. Just me. 

Finding that weekend seems near impossible any time soon. I just have to keep plugging away and savouring the breaks where I get them. I need to nourish myself well, mind and body. I have too many people to care for and no one to look after me. Except me. So I need to do a bloody good job!

A recent course I undertook, to do with food and health, encouraged you to eat as many different ingredients in a day as you could. About 25 - 30 different foods was the recommendation for obtaining as many nutrients as possible from natural sources. 

This recipe has more than ten, so it's a good start to reaching that goal, along with a great breakfast and evening meal filled with healthy natural foods.

Red lentil and coconut dhal

1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 stick celery, sliced
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 star anise
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh green chilli
3 cups water
375 gram packet of dried red lentils
1 can coconut milk
500 grams diced pumpkin

Fry onion and celery in oil over a medium heat until onion is transparent.

Add garlic, ginger, cumin, star anise, coriander, turmeric and chilli, stir for one minute.

Stir in lentils and coconut milk, bring to boil.

Reduce heat, stir in pumpkin and simmer covered until lentils and pumpkin are tender, about 25 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

I like to serve it with a dollop of natural yogurt, fresh coriander and mint scattered on top.

  • Remember not to eat the star anise, it's not that palatable, however I don't mind chewing on it to get the flavour out of it and then spitting it out. It's not for everybody.
  • Instead of pumpkin, try other veggies like eggplant, zucchini or sweet potato. Even carrots, broccoli and peas!
  • Keep peeled ginger in the freezer. It won't perish in the bottom of the fridge and is easy to grate when frozen and pop the rest back in the freezer for another time.
  • I also freeze any herbs that are threatening to turn feral in the fridge, like coriander. The stalks give so much flavour to soups and casseroles. You'll be saving money too by keeping it for later.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ICAD 2016 Week 2

ICAD #8 Island
Sandpaper island, paint chip card sea and tree. 

ICAD #9 Compass. 

ICAD #10 Cobalt blue
I collated all the cobalt blue materials I had. Paint, fine line sharpie, crayon.
The paint I used was a kids paint from the cheap shop, on the card it dries quite chalky.
I started with the blue flowers and felt it needed something in the background.

ICAD #11 Baseball
I printed out a google map of our local baseball field and stuck it on the card. I drew a baseballer,
tore around it and stuck it on. 

ICAD # 12 TV
Watching too much tv gives you square eyes, right?! Maria learnt the hard way. Probably a Netflix
overdose of Walking Dead or Game of Thrones (eye roll). I've never watched either, so I don't get the hype.
Spanish to english translation: ojos = eyes. Cuadrado = square.

ICAD # 13  playground
This was a quick draw to catch up the day. The card was prepared with the lime green swirls, my favourite colour. The slide looks odd, I know. 

ICAD #14 Venn diagram
I had to google what a venn diagram looked like, coz I had no idea. In hindsight, I should have
made it a colour mixing chart more so than random colours. Oh well. Move on. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

The moral of the story

In the eighties when I grew up, I remember reading Enid Blyton books. I enjoyed reading her books. Most of them, probably all of them, had a moral to the story. Something to be learnt. Mostly about manners and being a good friggin' person.

Then there was talk about her books being violent or politically incorrect. What they are, is a reflection of the time they were written. A reflection of the things that used be important, like morals and good manners, using your imagination and good old fashioned fun. Like climbing trees and laying on the grass, imaginary friends, daydreaming and tea parties.

I honestly don't think it would hurt kids of today to read them. I love how an innocent story about a naughty boy, or greedy girl, slowly lulling you in, becomes a just desserts lesson on how not to behave.

Is this what is wrong with the world these days? Have we forgotten about 'the moral of the story' and thrown morals out the window?

If you ask me, it seems people these days are self obsessed, and only concerned about how life affects them. Not about how life affects other people. There is no compassion or empathy. No common decency.

Maybe this is because we become desensitised, with bad news bombarding us from all directions. Good news stories barely get a look in with celebrity drama, murder, rape, violence, the modern day patheticness of politics and god know what else, assaulting our ear drums. We cower in denial of what is going on, we become numb. I know I do.

Especially when it comes to children. My soul shrinks a little bit when I hear that shit. It just shouldn't happen. I want to bury my head in the sand, concrete even. La la la, I don't want to hear it, but it's there, it's too late, my ears can't erase it. The scenes fill my brain, sadden my soul.

I don't know what to do, how to help.

All I can do is make sure I try to teach my kids to respect and treat all people the same. To use their manners and have tolerance for people who are different.

We all start out that way really, then are influenced from the people around us. Morals are learnt, as are the ethics to guide our morality. On the flip side intolerance, disrespect and prejudice are also learnt.

The homophobic parent passing negative comment on the gay couple holding hands in the supermarket.

The uncle telling racist jokes and making derogatory remarks about a race.

The father mentally abusing his wife in front of her children.

We all hold ideas, scars, that came to us after we came into the world, not knowing prejudice or maliciousness. Some of us cope better than others to the wily ways of the world. Me, I don't cope well. Maybe I read too many morally correct books when I was a kid. Maybe I grew up thinking the world was a nicer place than it is and was expecting too much.

In an ideal world, we would all be compassionate, judgeless, tolerant. But we are not living in an ideal world. It's crap. So we have to try to be more than crappy to make a difference.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

ICAD 2016 Week 1

I am a visual person. I like the visual arts and I like to be creative. 

Last year when Denyse shared her ICAD art, I was inspired. This year I bit the bullet, found some index cards (which was a little harder than I first thought), and got really excited to start.

Every day for the months of June and July, I create something on an index card. So do heaps of other people. I've joined the ICAD facebook group and I get to see everyone's different takes on the prompts or their off-prompt creations.

Here's my first seven days. I am enjoying this challenge and have used the prompts provided so far. I don't have to hurt my brain too hard thinking of something to create.

Everyone else was making a title card for the project, so why not?  :)

ICAD #1 mix tape
water colour, sharpie and biro.

Using this photo for  #fmy52weeksofmemories for last week which was 'name'. I am pretty sure this is
what I probably wrote on my tapes so my siblings didn't get any big ideas. I remember having VHS tapes with the top 40 recorded from RAGE on the ABC. If one of them taped over my music it was the
end of the world! 

ICAD #2 pyramid
Torn printed paper, torn sandpaper, water colour and crayon. I used the smallest pair of scissors I own,
a pair of nail scissors to cut out the camels. They came in handy for something, I don't use them on my nails!

ICAD #3 Snoopy
I drew this in pencil first and then went over it with a fine line felt tip pen.
It took me a few goes to get Woodstock right from the erasing lines that are visible.

ICAD #4 typewriter
Water colour, sharpie border and printed stuff from the net. I printed out the words,
then cut them up and bordered them with a sharpie.

ICAD #5 cloud
Water colour, wool and printed words cut and pasted

ICAD #6 Top ten list
Real red wine stains, coloured sharpies and numbers cut and pasted from the May
issue of Woolworths Fresh magazine. I really did run over the kid next door's bike that day!
ICAD #7 Pinball or bowling
Wood print, pencil drawn ball and pins, black fine line felt pen

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